October 6-13, 2023
Welcome to Your Weekly News Brief!
Happy Bloomin' Friday!
A lot has happened in the past week worldwide and not for the better.
It is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I'd be surprised if any of our readers haven't experienced this awful disease firsthand or through a friend. Game inventor Leslie Lawrence courageously shares the story of her journey in one of our feature stories this week..
If you have not yet voted for your favorite innovators, do it now. TAGIE voting closes in just one week on October 20th.
Do you know a creative kid? We've extended the registration for the Young Inventor Challenge to October 22nd!
How are we in mid-October already?
Thank you for reading the Bloom Report here or on the Bloom Report 24/7 News Feed!
POP Week is November 1st- 5th!
The BLOOM REPORT is fantastic and it allows me to stay on top of all the breaking news in the Toy industry! - Wai Or, Longshore Ltd.
“I seriously look forward to each Friday to learn most every update + more in the Industry. Priceless info! Thank you” -Michael Kohner, The Michael Kohner Corporation
"TBR is required reading for: inventors, manufacturers, retailers, marketers, suppliers, absolutely everyone!" - Robert Fuhrer, Founder, NEXTOY
Person of the Week - Leslie Lawrence
Is Getting a Book Published as Difficult as Getting a Game Licensed?
Before I embarked on writing my book, I’m a lucky woman, A Photographic Memoir of a Breast Cancer Survivor, I hadn’t thought much about the similarities between authors and game inventors. Both have great ideas but unless they can find a company to market and sell their ideas or words, their creations just gather dust in the graveyard of unrealized dreams.
As in the toy and game inventing world where there are thousands of new ideas each year, there are many more thousands of books published each year. Trying to find a book publisher is just as difficult as licensing a new idea to a game producer.
The major challenge for authors and game inventors is to get their idea in front of an industry leader who will recognize their concept’s worth, produce it, and pay royalties for the privilegeJ
Getting a book published
Being a first-time author, I didn’t know a soul in the publishing business. I was at a loss as to what to do. I scoured the library for books that listed literary agents and publishers. I asked everyone I knew if they had a book publishing contact. I sent a gazillion query letters and partial manuscripts to possible agents, publishers and even editors I’d seen on podcasts.
I encountered a lot of unanswered emails. I did get a few memorable responses, “If you don’t hear from us in three months, submit again.” Others stated, “Not viewing manuscripts until 2026!” READ MORE...
Person of the Week - Karri Bean
Brings the Magic of Disney to LEGO!
Karri Bean, Senior Manager, LEGO at Disney Consumer Products, shares the secret of leading with empathy, hilarious stories from her travels to Denmark, and how she oversees all the Disney franchises to transform them into iconic LEGO sets.
All in the Family: The Provda Family
Pictured above: Asher and Alex Provda
Hi Alex! Can you tell us the origin story of your family business?
The origins of The Pencil Grip, Inc., is attributed to the age-old premise that necessity is the mother of all invention. The roots of what we strive to do as a company (to make products that help people solve a common problem) can be traced to our origin. Dr. Lois Provda, the mother of Asher & Alex Provda, who are the current owners of the family company, was the creator of The Pencil Grip, and worked as an Educational Therapist who helped children with reading and writing difficulties. In her years of practice helping hundreds of children, she identified a need for a new and modern version of The Pencil Grip. Millions of units sold, and over 30 years later, it looks like she hit the nail right on the head.
In doing so, she created one of the most enduring products for Activities of Daily Living, or “ADL” products known to the world. Our Father, Mr. Paul Provda along with our mom, founded the company in 1994. Together, they brought their one sole product to a booth at the NSSEA show to introduce it to the world. The rest is history, and we find ourselves now with hundreds of products and customers around the world. The company has products that span many categories, with our largest brand expressions being The Pencil Grip, The Classic’s, & Kwik Stix amongst others.
The company changed drastically one day soon after inception. A few months after the founding of the company, our father suffered a major stroke that left him with aphasia. With nowhere else to turn but to family, Mr. Asher Provda, the CEO of The Pencil Grip, Inc. and Mr. Alex Provda the President of the company, moved home from the schools they were attending and started to work at the ages of 22 & 19, respectively. In those early years, Asher did much of the heavy lifting to keep the operational side of the business moving forward and growing. Alex took up the mantle as Sales Leader. Together, we found a way to make it work. At the time, like many entrepreneurial success stories, we worked out of the garage. READ MORE...
Cartoon Lovers, Lexophiles & People in Need of a Smile!
Cartoon of the Week: Thank you, Bob Fuhrer for the funny cartoon this week!
Lexophile Lovers: "Acupuncture is a jab well done." Thank you, Jerry Cleary for sharing with our readers!
"We're not born creative or destructive. Each one of us has the ability to create or destroy, to leave the world better than we found it, or worse." - Yo-Yo Ma
“What I have discovered is this: You can’t do it alone.” - Amy Poehler
Have a cartoon, quote or a joke to share with your colleagues? Send it to me! Mary
Financial and Legal
Toronto-based Spin Master Corp. inked a definitive agreement to acquire U.S.-based Melissa & Doug in a $950 million cash transaction. The companies have been licensing partners for a number of years via the PAW Patrol brand, and the deal will strengthen Spin Master’s business by adding Melissa & Doug’s famed line of wooden toys to its product mix.
Microsoft cleared to buy Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard. Microsoft's revised offer to buy Call of Duty-maker Activision Blizzard has been approved by UK regulators. The Competition and Markets Authority said the deal addressed its concerns, after the watchdog blocked the original $69bn (£56bn) bid in April. The green light marks the culmination of a near two-year fight to secure the gaming industry's biggest-ever takeover.
This week, MGA Entertainment initiated a merger offer with Zapf Creation AG through its wholly-owned German subsidiary. According to MGA, its subsidiary is currently Zapf’s largest direct shareholder. For nearly 20 years, MGA has maintained a collaborative relationship with Zapf that has strengthened the sales and distribution of both companies’ brands.
Netflix Animation pauses two films as part of a restructure. And in what could be a signal that the streamer is refocusing on third-party acquisitions, Paramount+ kids series Star Trek: Prodigy will join its lineup later this year. Tunga, a film from Zimbabwe-born creator Godwin Jabangwe about a young girl who tries to find a mythical city that could save her community from a drought, is being redeveloped...
Talks between SAG-AFTRA and the major studios have broken down, as the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers said Wednesday that the gap between the sides is “too great.” In a statement to members after midnight, the union accused the studios of engaging in “bully tactics,” and said that the studios had walked away from the bargaining table after refusing to counter the union’s latest offer.
Utah’s Division of Consumer Protection is suing TikTok, claiming that the company behind the popular social media app “illegally baits children into addictive and unhealthy use, blatantly misrepresents the app’s safety, and deceptively portrays itself as independent of its China-based parent company, ByteDance.” The action, announced on Tuesday, is the latest in a string of moves by U.S. bodies to crack down...
Iconic toy store finally makes comeback after bankruptcy. The love for 80s and 90s pop culture has been the bedrock of the Millennial generation nostalgia, along with Generation Z. Currently, the decade to resurge in popularity has been the 90s. Everything from the fashion revival of baggy jeans and grunge flannel to NSYNC reuniting, the trendiness of 90s culture is at an all-time high.
Microsoft adjusts Activision Blizzard deal to prevent EU probe. Microsoft has released a new version of its $69 billion deal to acquire Activision Blizzard. Per Bloomberg, the adjusted deal has been made to appease the European Commission (EU) and ensure the Xbox maker doesn't get investigated a second time. The original version of the deal was under heavy scrutiny from both the EU and Competition Market Authority.
Report: Disney execs keen to acquire a publisher like EA. A new Bloomberg report reveals Disney executives are looking to get further into games. Their solution? Acquire Electronic Arts. Sources speaking to the outlet say executives under current CEO Bob Iger want him to perform a "bolder transformation" of Disney's video game division. Rather than license out properties like Marvel and Star Wars, it should buy up...
Activision Blizzard games should hit Game Pass in 2024. When speculation rife that Microsoft expects to finalize its purchase of Activision Blizzard this week, and COD: Modern Warfare III out in a month, it seems people have been wondering when Activision’s games will start appearing on Microsoft’s Game Pass. According to a tweet from Activision Blizzard, it should be some time next year.
Heathside Trading acquires Quantum Mechanix Inc. Leading pop culture manufacturer and distributor Heathside Trading has announced it has acquired the intellectual properties and assets of Quantum Mechanix Inc, a pop culture company that creates toys, plush, gifts, apparel, games, prop replicas and resin collectibles, among many others. Quantum Mechanix (QMx) was founded in 2006 and has released...
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COMIC STORE MARKET SHARES – Q3 2023. Marvel, IDW Gain Ground; Titan Enters the Chart
***The above posted after Octobe 13th***
US online holiday sales to surpass $221B this year: Adobe. Following other projections of sales spikes, Adobe Analytics predicts this year’s online holiday sales between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 will reach $221.8 billion, a 4.8% bump from last year.
Trends, Lists, Market Research, and State of the Industry
Meijer Reveals Season's Top Toys in Holiday Toy Guide, Including Barbie, LEGO and Disney 100. Retailer's annual Toy Guide arriving two weeks early to kick off extended shopping season
***the above posted after October 13th***
Stock This! 67 must-have new toys & games for Fall. The Toy Book’s long-anticipated 2023 Toy Fair Issue is finally here,
Stories, Comments, and Advice
WHY DO SUPERHEROES WEAR SPANDEX? The rise, fall, and return of the super-stretchy material. In the year 2000, superhero movies were at the precipice of a mainstream revolution, and leading that charge were the X-Men. But this was a new millennium and a new format. The tight, stretchy outfits worn by the team in their comics and iconic ’90s cartoon wouldn’t do. Instead, these X-Men donned black leather bodysuits.
A 17-year-old West Australian has taken out the Guinness World Record for the fastest time solving a rotating puzzle cube in freefall. Singleton teenager Sam Sieracki solved a Rubik's Cube in 28.25 seconds. He accomplished the feat while skydiving over Jurien Bay. It was the 17-year-old's fifth attempt at breaking the record. “It’s really intense. It’s very loud, because you’ve got all the wind in your face,” Sam said.
Hershey Has S’more Success With Ads on LG Home Screen. Hershey, a longtime television advertiser that has already shifted most of its video budget to streaming and connected TV, was willing to try putting ads directly on the home screen of LG smart TV sets. ”We are a fairly significantly large category,” Vinny Rinaldi, head of media and analytics at Hershey, told Broadcasting+Cable. “Penetration on candy, mints...
Culture Shift: Why Is Hollywood Ignoring the Data When It Comes to Latino Representation? (Guest Column). U.S. Latinos remain chronically excluded from the media and entertainment industry in direct contradiction to their growing population size and demonstrated buying power, writes Fuse Media chairman and CEO Miguel Roggero.
FEATURE: Kids TV gets in fashion. Style programming has traditionally catered to adults, but there’s a closet-full of new fashion-forward shows for much younger viewers about to hit the runway. For most visitors to Las Vegas, it’s the bright lights and mammoth buildings that catch their eye first. But something much closer to the ground struck awe in producer Antoine Wade. “I saw this 12-year-old kid wearing the same Versace...
Amid a mental health crisis, toy industry takes on a new role: building resilience. As more children emerge from the pandemic grappling with mental health issues, their parents are seeking ways for them to build emotional resilience. And toy companies are paying close attention.
While still in its early phase, a growing number of toy marketers are embracing MESH — or mental, emotional and social health — as a ...
***The above posted after October 13th***
John Baulch, Toy World - Reflections…it’s the Friday Blog! I want to start this week’s Blog by passing on my deepest condolences to all of our many Israeli readers, and indeed to all of the many Jewish members of the global toy community. The horrendous events of the past week must have been incredibly difficult to come to terms with, and I can’t begin to imagine the pain you are all going through.
John Baulch, Toy Word - BLE is back, baby …it’s the Licensing Blog! I have spent most of the weekend lying down in a darkened room, recuperating from not one but two shows, back-to-back. If you want to catch up with what happened at the New York Toy Fair – and there was plenty to report, particularly with regard to future events – you can read the Blog I posted on Toy World on Friday.
Enough electronic toys to fill Hamleys 14 times over sent to landfill. UK cupboards are overspilling with nearly 7.5m unused electrical kids toys, new data from the Recycle Your Electricals campaign has revealed. 72% of households say these unused electrical toys are still working, meaning they could be donated to toy charities and schemes such as The Toy Project, YoungPlanet, and Toys4life.
The significance of toy packaging design. Toy packaging is the bridge between the product and the consumer. It’s the first interaction a potential buyer has with a toy, and as the saying goes, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” An effective toy package has the power to: 1. Create Anticipation: Engaging packaging triggers a sense of curiosity and excitement, making children eager to unwrap ...
Big Oil's using Fortnite, TikTok, and Twitch in effort to convince kids fossil fuels are cool. Kids today only care about online free-to-play shooter Fortnite. They don’t even talk about how great gasoline is! Luckily for us, one large oil company wants to change that using Fortnite, TikTok stars, and Twitch streamers. Welcome to Hell. Climate change is bad. I think we can all agree on that.
History and Nostalgia
‘Star Wars’ X-Wing Fighter, Which Had Been Lost for Decades, Sells for Record $3.1 Million at Auction. The 20-inch model of an X-wing starfighter was used in filming the climactic space battle in 'A New Hope,' and according to Heritage Auctions, it "just set the record for the most expensive 'Star Wars' screen-used prop sold at auction."
***The above posted after October 13th***
Monster Dash from Whitman (1975). Published in 1975 by Whitman, the Monster Dash board game was a spin-and-move race to be the first monster to traverse the trail and make it to the finish line. Players chose one of four monster characters as their pawns. Each of the four monsters — Eyerene, Sharkey, Webster, and LaFeet — came with a special ability that gave them an advantage at different points …
Power Shop from Mattel (1964). In 1964, Mattel released Power Shop, a “Make and Play” toy that allowed children to create toys and models using real wood. The multi-purpose Power Shop could be configured into one of four tools typically found in a basic workshop: a drill press, jigsaw, lathe, and sander. Power to the shop was provided by connecting it to an electrical outlet.
Licensing and Entertainment
BBC Studios Kids & Family and CBeebies have commissioned new preschool series Hey Duggee’s Squirrel Club from Studio AKA. A spinoff of the London-based prodco’s Hey Duggee (pictured), the new 2D-animated series centers around a friendly dog who encourages his animal friends to try new things. A release date hasn’t yet been announced for the 26 x seven-minute show.
***The above posted after October 13th***
Black Barbie: A Documentary, which details Mattel’s introduction of a Black doll to its Barbie collection and the women that brought it to life, has landed at Netflix and Shonda Rhimes‘ Shondaland. Lagueria Davis directs the doc and produces alongside Aaliyah Williams. The logline for the project reads: “Black Barbie celebrates the momentous impact three Black women at Mattel had on the evolution of the Barbie...
Hasbro has many brand anniversaries on the horizon, including significant milestones for “Peppa Pig,” Transformers and Dungeons & Dragons. To find out more, Casey Collins, senior vice president, general manager, global consumer products, Hasbro, joins Barbara Smith, digital editor, License Global, to chat about what is in store to mark the milestones and how location-based experiences are working...
Nacelle inked a deal with Oni Press to create a co-branded Nacelle/Oni publishing line that will launch next year with Nacelleverse No. 0, a 40-page one-shot from writer Melissa Flores (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) with art by Diogenes Neves (Realm of X, Suicide Squad) alongside additional artists from upcoming Nacelleverse comic series, including Robo Force, Biker Mice From Mars, Sectaurs, The Great Garloo...
Carrera Revell of Americas, the world market leader in the slot car segment and a leading brand for authentic model kits and 3D puzzles, is thrilled to announce an exceptional array of new licenses set to captivate enthusiasts and collectors in 2024. These new additions reflect the company’s commitment to delivering innovative and high-quality products to its ever-growing audience.
Disney Lorcana TCG coming to new countries in 2024. Ravensburger announced that the Disney Lorcana TCG will be available in 10 new countries in 2024. Illumineers in Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Mexico will be able to answer the call starting with the release of the third set in early 2024. These territories effectively double the global availability of Disney ...
Under license from Hasbro, the digital art collectible brand WoW and WS Game Company have just revealed the new Monopoly: WoW Galaxy Edition, which will be released online on Oct. 17. This special edition is a new take on the popular game, celebrating WoW’s historic web3 community, featuring custom illustrations of iconic characters. This is a Monopoly experience unlike any other.
Mattel and Gamefam Unveil Barbie DreamHouse Tycoon on Roblox. Mattel and Gamefam, a metaverse game developer, announced the upcoming launch of Barbie DreamHouse Tycoon on Roblox. The first-ever official Barbie "Roblox" game features the chance to build their very own DreamHouse, live out various careers and curate personal outfits for avatars. .
Scoobtober extravaganza unleashed in EMEA! Hold onto your magnifying glasses and get ready to join the grooviest celebration of the year! Scoobtober is the annual month-long extravaganza and thrill ride through the world of Scooby-Doo, bringing fans a tidal wave of programming, products and events across all of Warner Bros. Discovery. .
Jazwares named Global Master Toy for Thunderbird’s ‘Mermicorno: Starfall’. Thunderbird Brands, the consumer products arm of Thunderbird Entertainment Group, has announced the appointment of Jazwares as global master toy licensee for “Mermicorno: Starfall.” Jazwares has secured the exclusive global rights to produce figures, dolls, playsets, vehicles, plush, Squishmallows, Halloween costumes...
NYCC: Oni Press enters the Nacelleverse in Toyetic publishing deal. Fresh from its first Toy Fair appearance and ahead of New York Comic Con (NYCC) this week, The Nacelle Co. is ramping up an expansion of its publishing efforts. The multimedia company behind The Toys That Made Us and A Toy Store Near You is extending its reach across toys, animation, and publishing in 2024, and now comics and graphic novels...
Surge Licensing signs new partners for Webtoon original comics. Surge Licensing is helping bring fan-favorite Webtoon comics to new places. Webtoon is known in the comic industry as a platform artists use to independently publish their work. In addition to the self-published webcomics, it has a full collection of Webtoon Originals. .
GreenLight Collectibles inks licensing deal with Hendrick Motorsports. Indianapolis-based GreenLight Collectibles is racing into a new deal with one of NASCAR‘s most legendary teams. The maker of die-cast vehicles and accessories entered into a licensing pact with Hendrick Motorsports to create a range of collectibles including Hendrick-branded production vehicles, shop tools, lifts, and more..
MGA partners with Haylie Duff to launch Rainbow High Dream & Design Fashion Studio Playset. MGA Entertainment is known for its impressive portfolio, including L.O.L. Suprise!, Bratz, and Rainbow High. The Rainbow High brand is getting some star power behind it, as the company partners with celebrity influencer Haylie Duff.
Freaky just got fabulous with Off-White’s Monster High Collection. Monster High dolls are rocking their scary cool looks on the red carpet. Off-White and Mattel Creations have partnered to bring drop-dead gorgeous designs to four original Monster High dolls in the Monster High Memorabilia Doll Capsule Collection to celebrate Off-White’s 10th anniversary.
IMC Toys signs ITVX as content distribution partner. Following the expansion of its licensing roll out program, and the release of brand-new content from its hugely successful Cry Babies Magic Tears and BFF by Cry Babies animated series, IMC Toys has signed ITVX as its latest content distribution partner. Launched in 2022, ITVX is the UK’s freshest streaming service, offering exclusive new programs, blockbuster...
Hasbro unveils new licensed consumer products at Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) 2023. Celebrating its 100th anniversary, Hasbro returns to Brand Licensing Europe) this year with a full slate of announcements alongside new and existing licensing partners. From entertainment with A-list guest stars to dazzling fashion and footwear, innovative toys and so much more, Hasbro is delivering something for every fan.
Warner Bros. reveals a wave of new products ahead of ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’. Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products teamed up with Funko, Spin Master, McFarlane Toys, and more to release new products for the upcoming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. The range of products features designs inspired by the highly-anticipated movie.
People of Play
Woman makes $278 per hour to play board game. 22-year-old Litzy Santana just graduated from college. Now, she's earning $4444 a week by playing Uno on the streets of New York City with strangers. It's all thanks to a new social marketing campaign from Mattel.
***The above posted after October 13th***
A Change in the Era: A Chat with Litzky PR. Richard and Chris talk with Michele Litzky and Josslynne Welch about the history of Litzky Public Relations, the evolution of PR over the past quarter century, and the transition as Josslynne takes over the reins of the company. It's a great conversation about toy industry history, succession planning, and much more. Listen in as we talk to two major players in the toy industry.
The LEGO Group has appointed Annette Stube as its Chief Sustainability Officer. Stube will join the company in January. In her new role, Stube will be responsible for leading LEGO’s environmental sustainability and strategy, and working with operations, product development, and marketing teams to deliver company-wide plans and targets. In addition, Stube will support the company’s external environmental...
CHITAG'S MARY COUZIN AND SPIN MASTER FOUNDERS INDUCTED INTO THE TOY INDUSTRY HALL OF FAME. ChiTAG's Mary Couzin, the founders of Spin Master, and others were inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame on September 29, 2023. Other inductees included Ronnen Harary, Anton Rabie, and Ben Varadi, who co-founded Spin Master in 1994. They started the company with a single product idea and $10,000...
David Beckham is a LEGO geek and says the toys help to calm him down. David Beckham may be a world-famous soccer star known for his iconic fashion looks, but most people don't know that he's also a huge fan of Lego. In a 2020 appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," Beckham spoke extensively about his love for the plastic brick construction toys."I do love Lego," Beckham told host Jimmy Fallon.
Longtime StudioCanal exec Françoise Guyonnet will be elevated into a new dual role in early 2024 that comes with C-Suite access. Guyonnet’s impending promotion to EVP of kids brands (a new position) and CEO of in-house licensing agency Copyrights Group represents the culmination of 17 years with the company. She’s currently serving as executive managing director of TV series, with a remit that covers...
MGA and Zapf announce new UK Sales director. MGA Entertainment and Zapf Creation have announced the appointment of Ellie Moore in the newly created role following several high-level promotions in recent months, including Sara Taylor as senior vice president for the UK and FR.IT.ES, and Michelle Lilley as vice president of Marketing, EMEA. Previously Sales director for Zapf Creation, Ellie Moore joined the co...
Wind Sun Sky Entertainment (WSS) has expanded its content team with the hire of Robin Hays to fill a new VP of kids creative position. Hays is responsible for the strategic development and execution of all kids content, and will work on a number of projects spanning animation, live action and mixed media. She’ll initially focus on the conservation-themed IP Future Chicken, as well as contributing to...
Cloudco Entertainment proudly announces the arrival of Charlotte Payne, who steps into the role of Director of International Licensing, and Noelle Nuñez, who joins as Manager of Retail Development. Charlotte Payne takes the reins as the Director of International Licensing. Armed with over a decade of experience in international licensing, Charlotte honed her skills at Warner Brothers Discovery UK/EMEA.
Companies and Brands
Fat Brain Toys talks about where Christmas gifts really come from, and why it's even more magical than Santa. ELKHORN, Neb., Oct. 17, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- This year, Fat Brain Toys will introduce over 40 exciting new toys for the holiday season. But while most children will be writing letters to the North Pole asking Santa for these toys, Fat Brain Toys wishes to give credit where credit is due and celebrate the real-life...
***The above posted after October 13th***
Hasbro announced the STEM-based program with Girl Up on International Day of the Girl to mobilize a movement of girl leadership, innovation, and creativity. In partnership with Girl Up, a girl-centered leadership development initiative of the United Nations Foundation, the program will launch in early 2024 and build on the recent Hasbro Women Innovators of Play, a Challenge that calls for the next great women-led...
Bright Stripes Provides DIY Fun with Magic Scrunch Pillow. The pillow comes in four designs: cupcake, unicorn, kitty, and puppy. The Magic Scrunch Pillow is a hands-on craft designed for kids ages 6 and up that encourages creativity. Simply weave, scrunch, and stuff, and in less than an hour, kids will have an adorable pillow to add to their room or take with them on their holiday travels. No cutting or sewing is required.
In time for National Bullying Prevention Month, Mattel launched a new Monster High-inspired global program designed to increase a sense of belonging for children. Monster High Project Belonging aims to help children feel proud of who they are and feel connected to others while maintaining individuality. The project directly aligns with the brand’s values and drive to promote authenticity.
Following the destruction from Hurricane Idalia, Toys for Tots will provide toys and support to more than 12,000 children in the impacted areas. Numerous families in Northern Florida saw the effects of the hurricane. The Marine Toys for Tots aims to provide comfort, joy, and hope to families experiencing harsh challenges, such as those recovering from the hurricane. Toys for Tots will distribute toys,...
In 2024, Random House Graphic, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, together with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, will publish the first-ever line of graphic novels starring classic Dr. Seuss characters in all-new stories. The announcement was made by Judith Haut, EVP, deputy publisher, Random House Children’s Books, and Susan Brandt, president and CEO, Dr. Seuss Enterprises.
Star-studded turnout to Monster High 2 premiere. The event saw a host of celebrities and parent influencers turn out at London’s Regent Street Cinema dressed in gothic and glam inspired looks. Stars attendance included Amy Childs with her daughter, Imogen Thomas and Jac Jossa accompanied by daughters Ella and Mia wearing official Monster High costumes from Rubies.
Smyths Toys to open major distribution centre in Dundalk. When an unnamed party paid €8.9 million – more than €330,000 an acre – to secure ownership of a 27-acre holding at Dundalk North Business Park from the McWilliams Group in July last year, speculation swirled in relation to the purchaser’s identity and their intentions for the site.
Avalon Hill launches season of Treason featuring Matthew Lillard. Avalon Hill is kicking off the Season of Treason, a month-long program for all things horror, with a collaboration that features a multi-act Haunt for Betrayal at House on the Hill 3rd Edition. The board game was co-created by actor, producer, director, and Beadle & Grimm co-founder Matthew Lillard.
Pat Avenue embarks on VoD drive for Battle Heads. With two new Battle Heads play sets launching into market next week, Pat Avenue is ramping-up its digital support for the collection, with VoD activity adding to a comprehensive mix of pre-roll, bumper, influencer and webisode content. For three weeks from 17th October, the new 30 second Battle Heads TVC will be seen across Sky Kids’ 4-9 package.
Funforge will release 'Runemasters' into U.S retail. Funforge will release Runemasters, a tower-defense game, into U.S. retail in Q4 2023. In this cooperative game, players work together as Runemasters to protect the Temple of Mankind against the forces of evil. Monsters spawn on the board every turn and advance upon the temple.
LEGO gears up for World Play Day. This Thursday, Oct. 12 is World Play Day, a day where toy companies and families can embrace the importance of play. LEGO is celebrating the day with events around the world to get kids engaged in play. In London, kids can take on the role of superhero at the LEGO Superpower Academy, a free event from Oct. 12-18 where kids can complete challenges and use their superpowers.
Funko opens pop-up shop at Singapore’s Changi Airport. The maker of Pop! Vinyl figures and Loungefly accessories is making another move into airport retail. Funko, in partnership with Simply Toys, has opened a pop-up store at Singapore’s Changi Airport (CAG). The travel shop features an assortment of Funko products, including Pop! Vinyl and Soda Figures alongside Loungefly backpacks, purses, and other licensed...
Mantic Games launches new 'Kings of War' two-player set. Mantic Games launched The Raging Void, a new two-player set for Kings of War, onto preorder.The new two-player set features the Twilight Kin against the Abyssal Dwarves. The Twilight Kin are an Elven culture that has diverged drastically from the other kindred group by casting their morality aside.
Zapf Baby born Minis launches with heavyweight campaign. Leading nurturing doll brand Baby born is entering an exciting journey in the collectible doll space with the launch of the brand-new collectible range, Baby born Minis. Launching this autumn, the new series of Baby born collectibles sees 20 characters available to discover, each with an array of interchangeable accessories and playsets ...
Spin Master launches new preschool app subscription service Piknik. Spin Master announced the launch of Piknik, a new app subscription service for preschoolers featuring games from award-winning digital studios Toca Boca and Sago Mini. Included in the Piknik subscription bundle is unlimited access to Toca Boca Jr – a new collection of fan-favorite Toca Boca apps including Toca Kitchen 2TM, Toca NatureTM...
Story Time Learning launches Story Time Backgammon. Story Time Learning launched Story Time Backgammon earlier this week at Toy Fair in New York. This reimagined game encourages kids to develop their skills through the combined efforts of gameplay and storytelling. Story Time Backgammon reinvents the classic strategic game with nine hilarious stories and 27 unique mini-games.
Just in time for the holiday season, famed children’s author Janice Kenyatta has launched the Abena doll as a companion product to her successful book Just As It Is! The adorable Abena Doll tells her story in Just As It Is! as a little African American girl whose parents inspired her in early life to love and appreciate her natural features, including her hair, just as it is. The new Abena Doll is available online at www.janicekenyatta.com and the book is also available on Amazon.
Gaming: Digital, Video, Hardware, and Development
Outright Games, in collaboration with Hasbro, has launched Transformers: Earthspark – Expedition, the first video game set in the world of the animated TV series Transformers: Earthspark. The game tells an original story that sees iconic Autobot Bumblebee face a mysterious threat from his past and is available now on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch and PC.
Popular fantasy MMO ditches Battle Pass after players revolt. The just-introduced RuneScape battle pass has nowhere near the longevity of the 22-year-old game to which it belongs: after debuting the pass on September 4, developer Jagex plans to terminate it on December 3, it wrote in an October 6 update post. RuneScape fans have won the war.
Overwatch 2 players raise hell over Moira's pricey Lilith skin. Overwatch 2’s Halloween-infused seventh season, Rise of Darkness, went live on Monday, bringing with it a swath of creepy new skins for its heroes, including a hotly anticipated skin based on Diablo IV’s Lilith for sardonic healer Moira. Unfortunately, players who eagerly dived into the season for a chance to acquire Moira’s devilishly good skin...
PS5 finally gets cloud gaming later this month. Sony’s cloud gaming efforts are starting to ramp up. PS Plus subscribers will be able to start streaming big-name games like Spider-Man: Miles Morales and the Resident Evil 4 remake directly to their PlayStation 5s in the coming weeks. The company also hints that PS5 cloud gaming might be coming to other devices, like smartphones, at some point in the future.
EA Sports FC 24 nets 11 million players in opening week. Within its first week of release, EA Sports FC 24 has gotten off to a strong start, player-wise. Electronic Arts revealed the sports game has seen 11.3 million players since its September 29 release on PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox One. EA Sports FC 24 is the publisher's first soccer game without the FIFA branding, and...
Sony raising price of all-digital PS5 by $50. Sony revealed the long-rumored “slim” models for the PlayStation 5, and while they are a lot lighter than the existing consoles, the specs haven’t really changed. What has changed is the price, however. The company announced the new all-digital PS5 will be priced at $450 instead of $400.
Dredge smashes internal expectations after topping 1 million sales. Black Salt Games' eldritch fishing adventure Dredge has sold over 1 million copies since launching in March 2023. Dredge producer Nadia Thorne and 3D artist Mikey Bastiaens shared the milestone with Game Developer during an interview at PAX Australia, and revealed the title has performed well beyond its wildest expectations.
Highlighted Press Releases
Australia: Choking hazards targeted in new mandatory safety standard for children’s toys. National Retail Association welcomes the new mandatory safety standard for all toys marketed to children under three to adhere to strict design and testing requirements relating to batteries and small parts. Sadly, around 2,500 children under three seek hospital care due to injuries from unsuitable toys every year in Australia. Assistant Treasurer, Stephen Jones stated that one child admitted to emergency because of unsafe toys, is one too many.
Safety and Counterfeiting
Safeguarding E-Commerce success: The importance of brand protection against counterfeits. The success of your brand can in many ways depend upon the success of your e-commerce strategy. At Amazon, we obsess over our customers and selling partners, and are dedicated to protecting our selling partners like you from counterfeiters that would threaten your brand and business. When a customer makes a purchase through e-commerce stores like Amazon, they should trust that they will receive an authentic product. …
Associations, Shows, Awards, Events, and Festivals
FOX NEWS - Chicago Toy & Game Fair hosts Young Inventor Challenge. Calling all kid inventors, or parents of children with a gift perfect for the toy and game industry! Registration is open for this year’s Young Inventor Challenge coming up next month.
People of Play will host another Young Inventor Challenge on Nov. 4. The Young Inventor Challenge (YIC) is a competition in which children ages 6-18 can pitch their designs for original toys and games to industry professionals, major companies, the general public, and members of the media. The challenge is a STEM-accredited educational experience, as it encourages young minds to be creative and employ both...
Toy Fair New Orleans Called Off as Toy Association Plots Reimagining … Again. The Toy Association responds to member concerns by changing course on controversial decision to move Toy Fair from New York. It was the bomb heard ’round the toy industry. Not even halfway through Toy Fair’s much-anticipated return to the Javits Center in New York City after a 3.5-year pandemic-fueled pause,
Calling All Kids: Young Inventor Challenge With People Of Play. Creativity is one of the most transferable skills for kids and adults alike. Chicago Toys and Games Fair is one of the greatest places to cultivate this skill. The Young Inventor Challenge at the fair encourages kids of all ages to pitch their creative game or toy ideas to major toy companies… And joining us now is young inventor Tait Hansen and Mary Couzin...
Kidscreen is on location in the south of France as MIPJunior kicks off in sunny Cannes. The annual event caps off a summer that has been full of industry shake-ups, including two prolonged strikes and content budget cuts from streamers and broadcasters. One focus of this year’s MIPJunior conference program is demystifying emerging technology and financing opportunities.
***The above posted after October 13th***
SPIEL ESSEN WRAPS UP THEIR BIGGEST EVENT EVER SPIEL, which took place between October 4-8, 2023 in Essen, Germany. The world's largest board game fair had over 193,000 game enthusiasts from 85 countries attend the fair. These large attendance numbers were made possible by a new hall concept laid out across a 62,600 square meter convention area. The new hall concept included arrangement of the halls...
The 1960 on Grand building in El Segundo, California offers the opportunity for toy companies without a permanent showroom in the LA area to showcase their products. According to toy stalwart Jonathan Busher, who has been consulting with 1960 on Grand to create an environment for toy companies without a permanent showroom in the LA area to showcase their products, interest has increased significantly since it was announced that there would be no North American Toy Fair in 2024.
Brand Licensing Europe reports record retailer attendance. Brand Licensing Europe 2023 can boast a successful show with an increase in attendance numbers across numerous categories. Brand Licensing Europe is an annual event dedicated to licensing that welcomes a large variety of brands, licensees, manufacturers, retailers, distributors, and licensing agents.
RIP - Rest in Play - Remembering Those that have Passed
If you know of a colleague's passing, please send us information so we may share with our readers. Archives can be found HERE
Herb Feldman, APRIL 1, 1942 – JULY 29, 2023, Founder, Feldman & Assoc, toy reps. He grew up in Bayside, Queens, NY and was a good athlete and a passionate NY Yankees fan from the very beginning. Herb was an entrepreneur and after only a few years of work, he founded his own company where he thrived as an independent toy representative. After his retirement from the toy business, he split his time between NJ and Florida where he loved to spend time with friends and family.
Herb is survived by his wife, Sharon Goodhart Feldman, son David Feldman(Lucia), sister Judy Baumgarten(Harry), daughter in law Hope Feldman-Glassgold(Steven), step children Michael Kahn(Sharon), Julie Maloof(Brian), and Ross Goodhart, and 9 grandchildren, Julia and Brittney Feldman, Ethan and Olivia Glassgold, Evan and Hailey Kahn, and Jacob, Laila, and Skylar Maloof.
Herb is predeceased by his wife Bonnie Feldman, son Scott Feldman, and wife Annette Feldman.
A funeral service for Herbert will be held Wednesday, August 2, 2023 at 11:00 AM at Bernheim-Apter-Kreitzman Suburban Funeral Chapel, 68 Old Short Hills Road, Livingston, New Jersey 07039. Following the funeral service will be a burial at 12:30 PM at Beth Israel Cemetery, 1098 Woodbridge Center Drive, Woodbridge, New Jersey 07095.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.bernheimapterkreitzman.com for the Feldman family.
Pam Dobson. Toy World is sad to report that much-loved retailer Pam Dobson passed away last Friday, on the 29th September.
Ely’s Toys of Woodford Green was owned by Peter and Pam Dobson for many years. Peter passed away some years ago, and we are sad to announce the death of Pam on 29th September.
Elys Toys, which started life in 1920, closed in 2001, at the time citing growing competition from larger toy retailers and supermarkets. Peter and Pam were members of both Concorde Toys and Youngsters and were immensely popular throughout the toy trade. Many an agent used to remark what favourites they were on the territory.
Ely’s Toys was a traditional toy shop that was a popular part of the local community. Over the years Pam, Peter and their staff become friends with many of their customers, many of whom would visit the shop, not just to buy toys, but also just “for a chat and a laugh.” When the business closed, regular shoppers were dismayed and said they were very sad to see it go.
Pam and Peter met thanks to Pam’s brother, who was a good friend of Peter’s during his national service. The couple married in 1958, and shortly moved to London. Several years later, they took over Ely’s Toys, overseeing its expansion from a very small business to a much larger toy shop, a development which involved buying up the premises next door.
Toy World would like to add its condolences to Pam’s daughter Kim and her family at this very sad time.
Domenic Bettini, Director of Business Development at Playview Brands, passed away unexpectedly this morning, at the age of 55. Bettini was an esteemed expert in the toy industry and was recently appointed to his role as Director of Business Development. He was incredibly passionate and had a tremendous impact on the toy industry, with more than 20 years of notable success.
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- WotC Ending PRH Distribution of 'Dungeons & Dragons'
- Wizards of the Coast Will End Its Partnership with Judge Academy
- Rolling for Initiative -- Wizards of the Coast's Very Eventful Week
- Wizards of the Coast Updates Release Deets for 'Magic: The Gathering - Ravnica Remastered'
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- Mantic Games Launches New 'Kings of War' Two-Player Set
- 'Disney Lorcana' Expands to 10 More Countries
- New 'The Witcher' Tabletop Game Incoming
- ChiTAG's Mary Couzin and Spin Master Founders Inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame
Nación Juguetes (Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Chile & Spain)
The Bugg Report (Australia)
News Flash: The Same Game and CLUE: Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Pegasus Spiele has announced a new cooperative party game, a new edition of CLUE based on Diary of a Wimpy Kid has been released by The Op, and Blue Orange Games shows off some of their 2024 game lineup.
Video of the Week
Hidden Roles - Tom Dusenberry
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